The Vietnam War Era: A Personal Journey

The Vietnam War Era: A Personal Journey

by Bruce O. Solheim
     
 

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The Vietnam War continues to haunt America’s collective memory. With only the Civil War surpassing the Vietnam War in terms of national divisiveness, earlier discord continues as conflicting lessons from the Vietnam War are applied to current U.S. war policy.

Bruce O. Solheim provides a broad picture of the Vietnam War era at home and in Southeast Asia by

Overview


The Vietnam War continues to haunt America’s collective memory. With only the Civil War surpassing the Vietnam War in terms of national divisiveness, earlier discord continues as conflicting lessons from the Vietnam War are applied to current U.S. war policy.

Bruce O. Solheim provides a broad picture of the Vietnam War era at home and in Southeast Asia by combining historical narrative with biographical profiles and personal reflections, allowing the story to unfold in multiple layers, as seen from all sides of the conflict through the eyes of those who were actually involved.

In The Vietnam War Era, Solheim explores, and hopes to answer, vital questions about the American war in Vietnam. What lessons have Americans learned from our defeat, and how should we apply that knowledge in implementing current foreign policy? How do we fit the Vietnam War era into our greater historical narrative?

Editorial Reviews

Robert Mason

“As a participant in the Vietnam War, I was fascinated to read Bruce Solheim's take on what was going on behind the scenes. His personal experiences combined with dead-on historical research add depth and authenticity to this account. The Vietnam War Era is an excellent read for those curious to know how our politicians led us down such an ill-advised and ill-fated path.”—Robert Mason, author of Chickenhawk
Walter Jones

"A scholarly treatise on a haunting subject that requires ongoing and thorough examination. America's military actions in Southeast Asia and the resulting turmoil at home created a large and complex set of events that defy simple or easy explanations. Solheim's book will help students of the American war in Vietnam define and understand the issues involved in this tragic Cold War conflict. The volume is timely, gripping and infused with intelligent insight."—Walter Jones, Assistant Head of Special Collections, J. Willard Marriott Library University of Utah-Salt Lake City
Gary Hess

"Bruce Solheim's 'people's history' reminds us of the human dimensions of warfare. It underscores what Americans too often ignore—the Vietnamese as well as the American side of America's longest war. Solheim provides biographical sketches of a wide range of men and women, whose ideas, experiences, and roles illuminate the war. This is an important contribution."—Gary R. Hess, Distinguished Research Professor Bowling Green State University Former President of the Society for Historians of American Foreign Relations
Susan O'Neill

"Bruce Solheim's book is ideal for the classroom, with its historical narrative interspersed with profiles of the major players in the U.S. and Vietnam during and surrounding the war. But what gives it special relevance is his personal account of the era, told through child's-eye memoir, letters from his brother in Vietnam, and later musings on how his early experiences shaped the man he has become. It is this that sets it well above histories that deal in dates, battles and statistics, and brings home the persistent influence of this war on the Americans who were touched by it."—Susan O'Neill, author of Don't Mean Nothing: Short Stories of Viet Nam
Vietnam Veterans of America

“A unique and insightful look at [the Vietnam War] period. The first three-fourths of the book is an excellent summary of the history of the Vietnam War with enlightening sidebars on many people who were involved in it from Gen. Earle Wheeler to Oliver Stone. Solheim completes the book with a riveting account of his personal story, including details of his older brother's Vietnam War experiences and his two Army tours of duty after the Vietnam War.”—Vietnam Veterans of America
Gary Hess

"Bruce Solheim's ''people's history'' reminds us of the human dimensions of warfare. It underscores what Americans too often ignore—the Vietnamese as well as the American side of America's longest war. Solheim provides biographical sketches of a wide range of men and women, whose ideas, experiences, and roles illuminate the war. This is an important contribution."

—Gary R. Hess, Distinguished Research Professor Bowling Green State University Former President of the Society for Historians of American Foreign Relations

From the Publisher
"Solheim presents a narrative history of the US war in Vietnam that generally focuses on the political and military decisions of top leaders from Eisenhower and Kennedy's early involvement through the Johnson and Nixon years. Interspersed throughout are short profiles of important individuals from the era, including General Creighton Abrams, Jane Fonda, Vietnamese General Vo Nguyen Giap, Abbie Hoffman, Black Panther Eldridge Cleaver, Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara, reporter Seymour Hersh, and Bob Dylan. At the end of the book, he offers his own autobiographical account of growing up in the Vietnam War era." - Reference & Research Book News

"Bruce O. Solheim has taught the history of the Vietnam War for a dozen years. In his latest book, The Vietnam War Era: A Personal Journey, Solheim, an Army veteran and a history professor at Citrus College in California, has come up with a unique and insightful look at that period. The first three-fourths of the book is an excellent summary of the history of the Vietnam War with enlightening sidebars on many people who were involved in itfrom Gen. Earle Wheeler to Oliver Stone. Solheim completes the book with a riveting account of his personal story, including details of his older brothers Vietnam War experiences and his two Army tours of duty after the Vietnam War." - Vietnam Veterans of America

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780803217751
Publisher:
UNP - Bison Books
Publication date:
11/01/2008
Pages:
280
Product dimensions:
5.90(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.60(d)

What People are saying about this

Walter Jones
"A scholarly treatise on a haunting subject that requires ongoing and thorough examination. America's military actions in Southeast Asia and the resulting turmoil at home created a large and complex set of events that defy simple or easy explanations. Solheim's book will help students of the American war in Vietnam define and understand the issues involved in this tragic Cold War conflict. The volume is timely, gripping and infused with intelligent insight."
Susan O'Neill
"Bruce Solheim's book is ideal for the classroom, with its historical narrative interspersed with profiles of the major players in the U.S. and Vietnam during and surrounding the war. But what gives it special relevance is his personal account of the era, told through child's-eye memoir, letters from his brother in Vietnam, and later musings on how his early experiences shaped the man he has become. It is this that sets it well above histories that deal in dates, battles and statistics, and brings home the persistent influence of this war on the Americans who were touched by it."
Gary R. Hess
"Bruce Solheim's 'people's history' reminds us of the human dimensions of warfare. It underscores what Americans too often ignore—the Vietnamese as well as the American side of America's longest war. Solheim provides biographical sketches of a wide range of men and women, whose ideas, experiences, and roles illuminate the war. This is an important contribution."
Susan O'Neill

"Bruce SolheiM&Apos;s book is ideal for the classroom, with its historical narrative interspersed with profiles of the major players in the U.S. and Vietnam during and surrounding the war. But what gives it special relevance is his personal account of the era, told through child's-eye memoir, letters from his brother in Vietnam, and later musings on how his early experiences shaped the man he has become. It is this that sets it well above histories that deal in dates, battles and statistics, and brings home the persistent influence of this war on the Americans who were touched by it."

Robert Mason
"As a participant in the Vietnam War, I was fascinated to read Bruce Solheim's take on what was going on behind the scenes. His personal experiences combined with dead-on historical research add depth and authenticity to this account. The Vietnam War Era is an excellent read for those curious to know how our politicians led us down such an ill-advised and ill-fated path."

Meet the Author


Bruce O. Solheim, a former U.S. Army aviator, is a professor of history and the volunteer veterans coordinator at Citrus College in Glendora, California. He is the author or coauthor of several books, including Women in Power: World Leaders since 1960 and The Nordic Nexus: A Lesson in Peaceful Security.

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